Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

A very happy and blessed New Year to all who read this.

We can't avoid the world's sorrow as we see it depicted in the news media. Last Sunday we kept the Feast of the Holy Innocents, a reminder that even as we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace, the forces of violence and fear are a reality: in the massacre of all those young children in Bethlehem two thousand years ago; and today as Israeli and Palestinian confront each other with weapons of death... not to mention ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Somalia and the menace of fear, famine and disease in Zimbabwe. Read what Rosie Junemann, one of our Readers, had to say when she preached last Sunday.

Today, of course, is another Feast Day. For most Christians it's the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - the reminder that God in his good purpose comes to us in human flesh, and works that purpose out in human flesh, calling for the free consent of Mary that she should be the Mother of his Son. For Anglicans it's the Feast of the Circumcision and Naming of Christ - the reminder of a ritual on the eighth day following Jesus' birth which makes him part of a covenanted people. At St. Cuthbert's we try to remember the whole of that... together with prayers for the New Year. Our prayer is that we can keep God in the human picture, make our human response to a divine calling, and be faithful in seeking for this world the peace and healing that is God's will.

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